The State Department released a new alert on Thursday advising American nationals who are travelling overseas to “exercise increased caution” due to the rising tensions throughout the world brought on by Hamas’ terror attack on Israel and the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
“Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” officials said in the “worldwide caution” alert.
The department also told Americans overseas to “stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.”
The last time the department issued such a warning was in August 2022, following the counterterrorism strike in Afghanistan that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
“Supporters of al-Qa’ida, or its affiliated terrorist organisations, may seek to attack U.S. facilities, personnel, or citizens,” U.S. officials said at the time.
Separately, according to people familiar with the situation, the State Department has been ordering its embassies and consulates worldwide to carry out emergency security inspections in the midst of continuing demonstrations prompted by the fighting.
Additionally, Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave staff members instructions to assess whether embassies should notify Americans in their home countries about possible risks posed by the protests, as many have already done.
According to reports, the State Department has been asked by several posts to alter their activities because of security concerns. However, as of right now, it doesn’t seem like any other embassies have sought to leave on authorised time, and none have asked for a complete evacuation.